Alison asks: I recently visited a friend I hadn’t seen in twenty years. We had the briefest of hook-ups a long time ago that I vaguely remember as him not being able to ‘perform’, but it was still loving and caring. He’s smart, funny, insightful and back then gave me some advice that turned my world around.
I had not been in touch with him in all this time as we live in different countries and only reconnected just before I planned to visit his country. At the end of my trip, we planned four days together. I think he Future Faked me by writing how he’d thought of me and our connection over these years, on how he felt about me and that we would become ‘we’ on this visit. The visit really built up in my mind and then of course, when we met it was as though he wished he wasn’t there.
He talked a lot about himself and was cool to me. Aside from a hug and one moment of holding my hand, he never touched me. It was bizarre. I asked him about it and he got very angry and said, “What’s the urgency?”. Later when I asked why he agreed to meet me, he told me that he never asks why. I then went so far as to read one of his emails back to him and he said, “Well, I would be happy to receive an email like that!”. Sure, if the person who wrote it followed through. He also seemed to get very angry that I remembered the life-changing advice he gave me 20 years ago. It was so troubling. I have absolutely no idea what happened. When I left his country a week ago I said, “Have a nice life. Goodbye!” and that was the end of it. I haven’t heard from him and am pretty certain I won’t. I feel confused, angry, and hurt, like I was sucker-punched. What the hell happened?
On a recent episode of the HBO/Sky Atlantic series, ‘Insecure’, when Molly introduces her hot, new, guy who she’s only been on one date with to her friends at an engagement party and they refer to him as her ‘boyfriend’, he goes along with it, causing Molly to feel rather excited. Alone at the bar afterwards, Chris essentially says that he could see her desperation so he was happy to fill that role for her but that it essentially should be oh-so-obvious to her that they’re not a couple.
Your pen not-so-much-of-a-pal, Alison, is quick with words, light on action. He’s the type of person who’d give someone The Best Date Ever TM because he wants to feel good about not wanting to take it further. When the date feels confused about why they haven’t heard back, especially in light of what they thought was the “amazing chemistry”, he rationalises that at least he made sure he gave them a good time and goes on his merry way.
He’s insincere. What does he think you are? A charity that needs old flames to send love letters so that you can keep up the will to live? What’s the point in sending the letter if it’s fiction?
I think you hold him in too high an esteem. I’m not saying that you have to think of him an assclown, it’s just that a lot can change in twenty months never mind twenty years. There you are thinking of him as your very own Buddha (or Yoda) and he doesn’t either recall what he said to you or rate its importance. Now at the end of the day, if advice he gave was life-changing, that’s won’t be changed by this recent fracas, but he’s either not the man you thought he was or he’s not the man he used to be. It’s also time to recognise that you’re not that woman anymore either.